Six months to come alive again

March 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm (general life, Mental illness)

When CJ and I married, it was like being Cinderella.

Before we married, I was living in a granny flat in which most of the appliances were broken (including the washing machine, oven and toilet), where there was a large area of fungus, and where the water was not safe to drink. It cost two-thirds of my income, and was my only real option of a place to live. I needed to live alone because my anxiety disorder didn’t let me live with anyone.

When CJ and I married*I had good company and massages permanently on tap, a nice house where everything worked, and I never had to decide whether to have meat or not based on the ebb and flow of my income. I also had the new brand-ability to plan my future with some degree of certainty, and for the first time I had a choice about whether or not to have children someday. Everything in every area got dramatically better on one day.

On the down side, if CJ dies I’ll lose everything. He has life insurance (I checked, believe me), but other than relative wealth I’d lose most of the goodness of my life.

The awareness of my dependence of CJ didn’t impair my ability to function and/or enjoy CJ – but it didn’t go away either. Which is why when I read this article – mainly about the five stages of grief, and how they’re overemphasised in modern counselling – it meant a lot to me.

The thing that really made me feel better is that, according to studies, most people are largely recovered from major life-changing grief in about. . . six months. They still miss whoever or whatever it was, but the human ability to revert to individual emotional averages is extremely effective.

As a writer, I’m constantly designing the other kind of grief – the rare kind that permanently damages the sufferer – because it makes interesting characters. It’s a huge relief to realise that the way I see grief is based on an entirely fictional world view.

If CJ dies, my life will never be the same – but the worst pain will be mostly done by six months. If I have to, I can survive that.

Morbid and optimistic is a lot better than just morbid.

*Evidently there is at least one person I can live with – and even share a room with.

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2 Comments

  1. CJ said,

    Well, I’m … glad, but don’t start getting any ideas.

    • felicitybloomfield said,

      CJ: Oh, get back in the kitchen where you belong.

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